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The question: How do you fertilize patio plants? I have your books and have used your methods, but somehow my flowers are not as robust as the nursery stock. I do not like to use the 'blue' granules sold by every gardening centre. Doing so seems chemical.

The answer: Don't use chemicals - make yourself some compost tea instead. Combine one part compost to six parts water in a pail, let sit for a week (some recommend three weeks) and then cut in half with water before using. Apply about once a week to your plants.

These days, I'm using mushroom or duck compost on the top of my pots and things do look good.

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